eBay Looks For New Leadership For Sneakers & Streetwear

Liz Morton
Liz Morton


UPDATE 2-3-24

After mass layoff impacts 25 jobs in eBay's Las Vegas authentication center, Director Global Strategy and Operations Jonathan Gunawan has been promoted to General Manager Global Sneakers at eBay.

Gunawan announced the promotion in a post on LinkedIn.

Woke up to an email in my inbox this morning that took me on a trip down memory lane.

From hustling in the 10th grade, selling my Air Force One Easter Eggs on eBay, to wrapping up my first week as the GM of Global Sneakers at eBay, the journey has been nothing short of incredible.

Who would've thought that my passion for sneakers (despite my parents' scolding for every Air Force One box delivered to our house) would pave the way to the role I hold today? Little did they know, it was all just consumer research πŸ˜‰

Grateful for the trust Charis Marquez and the leadership team have placed in me to lead the business. Huge shoutout to all the mentors and leaders at eBay who guided me along the way. Most importantly, I am beyond excited to build with one of the most passionate teams I've encountered in my career.

As I settle into this new role, I'm eager to reconnect with all my Sneaker OGs. Don't hesitate to reach out - whether it's a simple hello or to chat about potential collaborations, the door is open! Looking forward to the next chapter and the adventures it holds. Let's make some sneaker magic happen! πŸ‘ŸπŸ”₯

UPDATE 10-5-23

It's official, Garry Thaniel has been promoted to GM eBay Canada, filling the spot left when previous GM Canada Rob Bigler was tapped to take over as CEO of eBay-owned subsidiary trading card marketplace TCGPlayer.

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Thaniel announced his promotion in a post on LinkedIn today.

I’m thrilled to share my new role as General Manager of eBay Canada πŸ‡¨πŸ‡¦. As I write this post from my new digs in Toronto, I’m feeling grateful for the experiences and people that helped shape my @eBay journey these past 2+ years.

My time leading the global eBay Sneakers category was truly rewarding, and I continue to be inspired by the team that keeps the Sneaker and Streetwear community at the heart of decision-making while driving the business forward.

It’s a privilege to join Team Canada – so much talent, so much passion. I’m looking forward to creating even more reasons for enthusiast buyers and Canadian small businesses to view eBay as their marketplace of choice.

Thaniel's replacement as GM Sneakers and Streetwear has not yet been announced and notably the ad for this position is still active on eBay's careers site, leaving one of eBay's flagship focus verticals seemingly without leadership for the time being.

eBay launched their major authentication efforts in the sneaker market in late 2020, seeing initially strong results that led to the acquisition of Sneaker Con's authentication operations - but as the pandemic ecommerce boom has waned, and eBay has reintroduced selling fees and is charging buyers shipping to try to monetize the program, growth in this flagship focus vertical category has slowed.

Garry Thaniel has been in charge of this important category since 2021, first as GM Sneakers and now as Global GM Sneakers & Streetwear, as eBay has sought to expand in this market to bring in more "enthusiast buyers" (buyers who shop at least 6 days a year and spend at least $800 annually on the platform.)

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However, a recently spotted ad on eBay's careers page indicates they are looking for new leadership to replace Thaniel in this role and bring a fresh perspective to reinvigorate the sneaker and streetwear experience.

GM, Sneakers & Streetwear in San Jose, California | General Management & Business Support at eBay
Apply for GM, Sneakers & Streetwear job with eBay in San Jose, California. General Management & Business Support at eBay

We are looking for a Global GM, Sneakers & Streetwear to join our team at eBay. Based in San Jose, CA. and managing a team, you will own the category which is one of the most strategically important for eBay and comprises a key role of the Verticals organization. If you are customer-focused, analytical, able to build meaningful relationships, have an ownership mindset and are ready to make an exciting move, we would love to hear from you!

The GM will be accountable for delivering the overall business objectives, driving day-to-day operations for the Sneakers category and achieving specific objectives related to volume of commerce, revenue, profit margins, and consumer satisfaction for buyers and sellers.

The GM will work strategically to identify and prioritize opportunities and execute cross-functionally to drive the business forward across a variety of business-critical metrics. This will include driving product, marketing, advertising, inventory, monetization, trust, site experience, business development, and other operating decisions across the Sneakers category.

With P&L responsibility, you will support the management team in the achievement of corporate objectives. You will develop and implement a regional strategy and participate fully in the definition and ongoing evolution of eBay’s global strategy and culture as a part of the Verticals leadership team.

Key responsibilities:

  • Drive performance against P&L levers influencing revenue across the business
  • Drive category strategy (including pricing, inventory, promotions, site experience)
  • Lead vertical, horizontal, cultural, and retail moment execution as it relates to Sneakers specifically on eBay and our customers
  • Define and execute strategies that will enable organic category growth across buyers and sellers
  • Build and share a vision that identifies new opportunities, foresees upcoming challenges and proactively addresses issues.
  • Lead all aspects of performance and business planning for top sellers, buyers, and 3rd party partners
  • Oversee team’s performance on key metrics (pricing, inventory, discoverability, customer satisfaction, gross merchandise volume, etc), as well as platform feature ideation and adoption
  • Drive strategic product, policy, communications, business development, marketing, and inventory initiatives in a holistic manner to improve buyer & seller satisfaction
  • Drive eBay event planning with Marketing Campaign Manager and Planning function
  • Lead marketing plan development and category management asset requests (e.g. placement, coupon, support, etc.)

While eBay is clearly looking to hire for the role Thaniel currently occupies, it's not entirely clear if he is being promoted/moved to a new role or if he will be leaving the company - he has not updated his LinkedIn profile and eBay has made no announcements.

Thaniel is still listed as a presenter on the agenda for eBay Open 2023 on September 27, but these events are typically pre-recorded well in advance and the agenda could also change between now then, like when previous CMO Andrea Stairs was dropped from last year's Holiday Seller Check In event as she was being shuffled around to a new role in eBay's Transformation Office.

Stay tuned for updates as CEO Jamie Iannone has promised an "evolution" of the focus vertical strategy to "reinvent the future of ecommerce for enthusiasts."

If you buy or sell sneakers on eBay, what do you think new leadership in this category needs to do to improve the experience?

Let us know in the comments below!

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Liz Morton is a seasoned ecommerce pro with 17 years of online marketplace sales experience, providing commentary, analysis & news about eBay, Etsy, Amazon, Shopify & more at Value Added Resource!

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